How to Choose the Right Licensed Practical or Vocational Nursing College near Goodyear Arizona
Now that you have chosen a fulfilling vocation in the field of nursing, it's essential that you find a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) school near Goodyear AZ that will furnish the right training. If you reside in Texas or California, then you will be looking for a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) school instead. There is no distinction, apart from the names, between an LPN and an LVN. They both undertake the same job functions and work in healthcare facilities under the supervision of Registered Nurses (RN) or Doctors. However their functions do vary depending on the state they practice in, which we will look at in the following segment. When initiating their search for schools, many future nursing students start with those that are the nearest to their homes or that are the least expensive. While tuition and location are important considerations, they are not the only criteria that you should base your selection on. Other factors, such as if the schools are accredited or have high pass rates on the licensing exam are extremely important as well. There are various other questions that you should ask potential schools before enrolling in a LPN or LVN program that we will talk about later in this article. But to start with, let's take a look at the job of an LPN and what is involved in the training and licensing process.
What is an LPN or LVN?
Licensed Practical Nurses have numerous functions that they complete in the Goodyear AZ medical facilities where they work. As their titles indicate, they are mandated to be licensed in all states, including Arizona. Even though they may be responsible for monitoring Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA), they themselves normally work under the oversight of either an RN or a doctor. The medical care facilities where they work are numerous and assorted, for example hospitals, medical clinics, schools, and long-term care facilities. Virtually any place that you can find patients requiring medical assistance is their domain. Each state not only oversees their licensing, but also what functions an LPN can and can't perform. So based on the state, their day-to-day job activities may include:
- Taking vital signs
- Administering medicines
- Setting up IV drips
- Overseeing patients
- Collecting blood or urine samples
- Maintaining patient records
- Assisting doctors or Registered nurses with procedures
Along with their work responsibilities being regulated by each state, the health care facilities or other Goodyear AZ healthcare providers where LPNs work can further limit their job roles within those parameters. Also, they can work in different specialties of nursing, for instance long-term care, critical care, oncology and cardiology.
LPN and LVN TrainingThere are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become an LPN near Goodyear AZ. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These LPN programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor's Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
LPN and LVN Schools Online
Attending LPN programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing certificate or degree in Goodyear AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by U.S. Department of Education recognized organizations. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online LPN school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask LPN and LVN SchoolsOnce you have decided on obtaining your LPN certificate, and if you will attend classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges near Goodyear AZ as well as within Arizona and throughout the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program as well as the school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Goodyear AZ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for LPNs are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the LPN schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Arizona school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Goodyear AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the LPN schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Goodyear AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby Goodyear AZ community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Best Goodyear Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse Program
Enrolling in the right Licensed Practical Nurse program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you enroll in an LPN school and a certificate or degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become an LPN or LVN in Goodyear AZ.